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The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Monday, 04 November 2013 22:05

Upland Bird Hunting Season

Upland Game Bird Hunting Upland Game Bird Hunting

We at Shotem and Caughtem have recently noticed that the weather is headed for a cold change in temperature.  For us it could not come at a better time since we are mere days away from the start of Pheasant and Quail hunting season.  The unfortunate news for upland bird hunters is no state reports on their populations made for a read that got us excited as we begin to change into our warmer coats.  It seems that drought conditions and delayed crop growth has once again pushed the better populations to the northern parts of many states or has caused a reduction in overall.  The unfortunate news for upland bird hunters is no states reports on their populations made for a read that got us excited as we begin to change into our warmer coats.  

Extreme drought conditions persisted in most of Kansas again this year. While several late winter and early spring storms brought much needed precipitation across the state, levels were not high enough to recover vegetation conditions going into the breeding season. Nesting conditions were somewhat better for pheasants than our other game birds due to a later-than-average wheat harvest. Pheasants utilize green wheat for nesting more than other game birds, and a later harvest provides more opportunity for nests to hatch and young to fledge. However, the lack of precipitation in June and most of July did not improve vegetative conditions enough to provide for good brood rearing cover or sufficient insect abundance. The combination of these two deficiencies led to lower than average chick survival for all upland game birds across most regions of the state. As precipitation fell across much of the state in late summer, vegetation conditions improved, signaling improved conditions and a potential for better production in the near future.  Due to continued drought during the reproductive season, Kansas will experience a below average upland game season this fall. However, for those willing to hunt there will still be birds available, especially in the northern Flint Hills, and northcentral and northwestern parts of Kansas.

Though Nebraska also has many of the same reported problems as Kansas when it comes to Pheasant, their quail might be great hunting this year.  In contrast to pheasants, bobwhite abundance increased regionally and statewide compared to 2012. Results from the July Rural Mail Carrier Survey and the Bobwhite Whistle Count Survey both indicated regional and statewide increases in bobwhite abundance. Decreases were only noted for the North-Central region (RMCS; see reverse) and West Platte region (Whistle Count).